End is near for Back to Future
Universal Orlando officials confirm the ride will be closed for a new attraction.
Sentinel Staff Writer
September 7, 2006
The future of the Back to the Future ride is short at Universal Studios.
After months of not commenting on rumors of the attraction's demise, Universal Orlando on Wednesday confirmed that the 16-year-old simulator ride will be closing to make room for an as-yet-undisclosed new attraction.
Universal spokesman Tom Schroder would not give a date for the ride's last run, though employees at Universal said they have been told it would close Oct. 1.
The ride uses simulator motion technology and a large-screen movie projection system to give visitors the illusion they are traveling in the DeLorean car/time machine featured in the movie franchise. The three movies, released in 1985, '89 and '90, star Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
Back to the Future funnels visitors into two identical domes that each have 12 vehicles, which each seat eight riders.
Schroder said one dome was closed recently so that attraction designers could explore possibilities for future rides.
"We've not formalized any plans but the creative process requires us to take some steps now," Schroder said.
Rumors among Universal staff members, fueled and circulated by the Internet, involve several possible replacements, including rides based on the Fast and the Furious movie franchise and one based on The Simpsons TV show.
Back to the Future was one of the original rides when Universal Studios opened in 1990 and for many years was considered among the most advanced simulator rides in the world. The anticipated closure has fueled an Internet petition drive to get Universal to change its mind.
"We know Back to the Future has an enormous following among our fans, and we know it has a significant history," Schroder said. "Any decision we make regarding Back to the Future is not taken lightly."
Scott Powers can be reached at [email protected] or 407-420-5441.